Rhiannon Faith comes to Rich Mix with fear-facing theatre

From left, Maddy Morgan and Rhiannon Faith. Photo: Roxanna Ross

From left, Maddy Morgan and Rhiannon Faith. Photo: Roxanna Ross - Credit: Archant

Choreographer Rhiannon Faith is chatting happily on her mobile to me about her experimental performance piece.

But talking on the phone isn’t something that’s always come naturally to the dance-maker.

“I had this fear of telephones, I would get quite anxious about calling people,” she said.

“One day I thought: maybe there’s a show in this and I can try and work through the fear.”

A show was indeed born with a bold piece of dance theatre that explores unspoken fears.

Along with friend and collaborator Maddy Morgan, Rhiannon undertook talking therapy with her mother-in-law Joy Griffiths, a psychologist and an expert in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Individually, the pair worked through their respective fears of telephones and fertility. Both recorded and filmed the sessions to provide the backdrop to the immersive performance.

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Rhiannon was amazed to find she had recovered from her life-long fear in just two sessions, using special techniques to erase previous trauma.

The 32-year-old has been collaborating with hip-hop dancer Maddy for more than six years. In this deft and witty rollercoaster, the duo use voices and footage from the therapy to conjure up a fear-inspired dance.

“Some parts are humorous, some are ridiculous, it’s all quite DIY,” said Rhiannon.

“I feel like the relationship between the performer and the audience requires a degree of honesty, so it feels authentic and truthful.

“We try to frame the fear with humorous and silly bits, and take the audience’s hand through the darker places.”

The show runs at Rich Mix, Bethnal Green, on Saturday, February 20 at 8pm. It will also play at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington on February 26 and 27.

See rhiannonfaith.com for further dates and information.